top of page

Lean In Michigan

2018 Leadership Conference

September 22, 2018

11:30 - 5:00 PM

Lansing Community College
Gannon Building: 422 N Washington Square, Lansing MI 48933
Parking available in Gannon Ramp

JOIN US - all are welcome as attendees from across the state come together for our annual conference to:

CONNECT with motivated leaders

BUILD confidence and skills


The concept of Lean In is to encourage women to ‘sit at the table’, to seek challenges, to take risks and to pursue their goals with passion. Lean In encourages both women and men to support women in leadership positions (whatever level it may be) – both to reach that leadership position and to thrive upon appointment.


Lean In Michigan empowers women to achieve their ambitions through programs that counter gender stereotypes and advance opportunities for all women. Because we're more likely to get where we're headed if we go TOGETHER.


  • Registration starts at 11:30 AM

  • Event starts promptly at Noon – 5:00pm

  • There will be snacks and refreshments (NO lunch provided but there are lots of options nearby for a quick bite to eat so come downtown at 11:00 and make some friends before the event starts)

  • Free parking is available in the attached Gannon Parking ramp, conference will be on the 1st floor

  • A nursing mothers room will be available

  • Recommended dress is snappy casual

  • Bring plenty of business cards and paper for notetaking


Ticket sales end September 15


How to Lead with Authenticity, Strength and Compassion


Melissa M. Gleespen is vice president, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer for CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy. She is responsible for managing CMS Energy and Consumers Energy corporate secretary activities, as well as its investor services, securities law matters, and corporate records department. She was elected vice president and corporate secretary for CMS Energy and Consumers Energy in 2013.

As chief compliance officer, Gleespen has oversight of regulatory, Code of Conduct and corporate policy compliance. Gleespen joined the company in 2013 as supervisory assistant general counsel. She has an extensive background in corporate governance, disclosure regulations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and compliance. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University Extension School and her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.



Crucial Conversations - Claire Lee, Spectrum Health

Relationships can be difficult, whether they're professional or personal. Learn to "master your stories" and stay engaged in difficult conversations when you're angry, scared, overwhelmed, or hurt.


How to Change the World in 30 Days - Lisa Babcock, Lisa Babcock Law

Many of us have a law or government policy we'd like to change, whether it's adding a park near our home or increasing school funding. This program helps participants identify the change they'd like to make and where to target their advocacy. Participants will leave with a letter to the relevant decision makers - a critical first step!

How to Ask for Things you Deserve - Michele Coffill, GVSU 

Research shows there are gender differences when it comes to negotiating, as men are more willing than women to initiate negotiations for higher salaries. This session will discuss women/men negotiating styles and guide participants through steps to help them learn how better to ask for anything: flexible schedule, more/less projects, etc.


Finding Your Superpower - Kimika Garrett, Organizational Kimistry

Every woman has a Superpower but most do not have a clue what it is...much less how to utilize it. During this session, participants will go through several stages of evaluations to help identify what their potential superpower is or could be. They will leave with an action plan to develop and nurture their Superpower.


Self Care: the Portal to Your Purpose - LoRita Baker, The Believe Collective

Caring for oneself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation. In order to live your best life you have to first get to know the woman inside steering your ship. Exploring the new paths, possibilities and purpose that only exist when women begin to tap into themselves. Understanding that in order to lead a fulfilled, meaningful life and unleash their purpose women must begin to get to know who they are and what they need from themselves. Discover ways to reprioritize, redirect and rejuvenate yourself to become the woman that you’re destined to be!


The Born to Prosper Woman - Crystal Thomas, Born To Prosper

It is time to escape financial fear and accelerate towards financial freedom! No more excuses, it is time to execute a path to a sound financial future! "Born to Prosper" is an initiative that empowers women to sharpen their financial intelligence and secure their financial destiny by understanding the importance of: financial goal setting, diverse savings options, identifying the value of selecting the proper insurance, and sharpening your investing intelligence to secure your financial future. There is no time like the present to secure your financial freedom, you are "Born to Prosper." 

Confronting the Issues: Societal and Workplace Advancement Barriers - Julene Allen, Women For Action

This session will outline some of the key barriers many women and women of color face when advancing both in the workplace and society and what you can do as a thought leader to push the conversation forward. We will touch on microagressions, the glass ceiling and the type of ceilings specific to women of color and the pay gap. 

Check Your Privilege: Supporting Women of Color and the LGBTQ Community - Beth Cooley

Do you want to be a better ally? This session is a facilitated discussion on how to be an ally to women of color, queer and transgender individuals by unpacking our privilege through reflection and conversation. 

2018 Election Overview - Judy Karandjeff, League of Women Voters of Michigan

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. This session will provide an overview of the 2018 statewide ballot proposals and other general election information.



The Power of the Lean In Circle

- Moderated by Mita Fitzjohn

- Panelists: LoRita Baker, Beth Cooley, Rita Subhedar, Eleanor Rigby

Learn about what Lean In Circles are as four Circle members share their unique perspectives on:
·         What attracted them to becoming a member
·         How being a member has benefited them
·         The impact of the relationships with the other members
·         How Lean In is different from other groups

THANK YOU to our Sponsors

Tania Howard Logo_combined-with line-3-i


The Gannon Building is located on the campus of Lansing Community College in downtown Lansing.

Gannon Building Map.jpg


A limited number of waivers are available to cover the registration fee, these waivers are available on a first come basis to individuals who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A WAIVER REQUEST.


helping women period_final-2.jpg

We'll be holding a collection drive for Helping Women Period at the conference. They provide feminine hygiene products to homeless and low-income women. All donations are welcome:

  • $35 contribution covers one woman's needs for an entire year (checks should be made out to Helping Women Period)

  • pads

  • tampons

  • panty liners

  • personal wipes

  • bladder control products

  • bags for discreet distribution

Open boxes are welcome, as long as the items are individually wrapped.


To receive information on future Lean In Michigan events, make sure to JOIN THE NETWORK. Membership is free!




Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds after September 15, if you would like to transfer your ticket to someone else please email us at

bottom of page